President Obama Addresses the Situation in Ukraine and Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
July 18, 2014
President Obama Speaks About the Situation in Ukraine on July 18, 2014

Today, President Barack Obama delivered a statement on the situation in Ukraine and Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 at the White House.  President Obama said, "Yesterday, Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 took off from Amsterdam and was shot down over Ukraine near the Russian border.  Nearly 300 innocent lives were taken -- men, women, children, infants -- who had nothing to do with the crisis in Ukraine.  Their deaths are an outrage of unspeakable proportions."

The President also announced that at least one American citizen, Quinn Lucas Schansman, was killed.  "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family for this terrible loss," he said.

President Obama said he spoke with the leaders of the Ukraine, Malaysia, and the Netherlands and told them, "Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families and that the American people stand with them during this difficult time."  He said he will speak with Prime Minister Abbott of Australia later today, which also suffered a terrible loss.

President Obama said, "This was a global tragedy.  An Asian airliner was destroyed in European skies, filled with citizens from many countries.  So there has to be a credible international investigation into what happened.  The U.N. Security Council has endorsed this investigation, and we will hold all its members -- including Russia -- to their word.  In order to facilitate that investigation, Russia, pro-Russian separatists, and Ukraine must adhere to an immediate cease-fire.  Evidence must not be tampered with.  Investigators need to access the crash site.  And the solemn task of returning those who were lost on board the plane to their loved ones needs to go forward immediately."

The President continued, "I think it's important for us to recognize that this outrageous event underscores that it is time for peace and security to be restored in Ukraine.  For months, we’ve supported a pathway to peace, and the Ukrainian government has reached out to all Ukrainians, put forward a peace plan, and lived up to a cease-fire, despite repeated violations by the separatists -- violations that took the lives of Ukrainian soldiers and personnel."

"...So now is, I think, a somber and appropriate time for all of us to step back and take a hard look at what has happened.  Violence and conflict inevitably lead to unforeseen consequences.  Russia, these separatists, and Ukraine all have the capacity to put an end to the fighting.  Meanwhile, the United States is going to continue to lead efforts within the world community to de-escalate the situation; to stand up for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine; and to support the people of Ukraine as they courageously work to strengthen their democracy and make their own decisions about how they should move forward."

In closing, President Obama said, "The United States of America is going to continue to stand for the basic principle that people have the right to live as they choose; that nations have the right to determine their own destiny; and that when terrible events like this occur, the international community stands on the side of justice and on the side of truth."

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Comments

Isaac M.
|
Virginia, USA
July 18, 2014
Mr. President, I am asking why America is not giving the same attention to the worsening situation in Gaza. "First they came for the Socialist, ...The trade union, the Jews and then they came for me..." I appeal to your conscience and the conscience of the people of the US. It's time for #IsraelPalestineDialogue
Eric J.
|
New Mexico, USA
July 19, 2014

"Today there is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence. I feel that we've got to look at this total thing anew and recognize that we must live together. That the whole world now it is one--not only geographically but it has to become one in terms of brotherly concern. Whether we live in America or Asia or Africa we are all tied in a single garment of destiny and whatever effects one directly, effects one in-directly."
- Excerpted from a 1967 interview of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Arnold Michaelis.

There are points, or rather inflection points in human affairs that one may historicly look to as catalysts for change. I believe this tragedy to be one of them and directly relevent to the context in which MLK spoke, long ago in the dark days of cold war and conflict.

There is a choice to be made on the part of those responsible for not only their nation's interest, but humanity's interest collectively to live by these these words or deny the truth of them to themselves and their peoples at their own risk.

The victims of this appalling incident didn't have a choice in the matter, and their non existance today more than confirms the self evident nature of MLK's words, They must become the catalyst for change if their passing is to be honored by a lasting peace, rather than become a passing historical footnote of ongoing endless war perpetrated by leaders addicted to political posturing and spheres of influence.

Trying times indeed for a leader trying to earn his Nobel peace prize who once declared "All nations must choose peace." while the tranquility of nations seems all too elusive and the tide of war is anything but receeding in the context of the global reality.

It is not enough to simply react to crisis, one must sieze the opportunity to fundementally change the mindsets of those who've created it, in order to resolve it.

In this, I'll lend him my full support and one small voice.

EJ 7/19/14

Steve M.
|
Texas, USA
July 19, 2014
Its a major tragedy and I wish the President would take a harder stance on the issue. He has done a great job so far but i wish he would stand up like other presidents have when tragedies happened, the passive approach isnt leading! just my opinion. Here's some great info, why havent they touched on this? http://woundedamericanwarrior.com/russian-rebel-leader-initially-boasted-shooting-mh17-aircraft/ this proves who was at fault right?
max m.
|
Nevada, USA
July 30, 2014
Hello, our friends. I'm from Ukraine. We have a difficult situation in the country, so my friends and I decided to ask you for help. We are collecting donations for our military. People in our country have donated a lot of money, but it is not enough. Donate a few dollars, who do not mind. Thanks for help.
Eric J.
|
New Mexico, USA
July 29, 2014

(note to Dipnote; I have no idea why the following wasn't posted before when originally submitted, but I do know that the government of the Netherlands appreciated it when I sent this to them in solidarity the same day I originally posted it here.)

"Today there is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence. It is either nonviolence or nonexistence. I feel that we've got to look at this total thing anew and recognize that we must live together. That the whole world now it is one--not only geographically but it has to become one in terms of brotherly concern. Whether we live in America or Asia or Africa we are all tied in a single garment of destiny and whatever effects one directly, effects one in-directly."
- Excerpted from a 1967 interview of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Arnold Michaelis.

There are points, or rather inflection points in human affairs that one may historicly look to as catalysts for change. I believe this tragedy to be one of them and directly relevent to the context in which MLK spoke, long ago in the dark days of cold war and conflict.

There is a choice to be made on the part of those responsible for not only their nation's interest, but humanity's interest collectively to live by these these words or deny the truth of them to themselves and their peoples at their own risk.

The victims of this appalling incident didn't have a choice in the matter, and their non existance today more than confirms the self evident nature of MLK's words, They must become the catalyst for change if their passing is to be honored by a lasting peace, rather than become a passing historical footnote of ongoing endless war perpetrated by leaders addicted to political posturing and spheres of influence.

Trying times indeed for a leader trying to earn his Nobel peace prize who once declared "All nations must choose peace." while the tranquility of nations seems all too elusive and the tide of war is anything but receeding in the context of the global reality.

It is not enough to simply react to crisis, one must sieze the opportunity to fundementally change the mindsets of those who've created it, in order to resolve it.

In this, I'll lend him my full support and one small voice.

EJ 7/19/14

.

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